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Between Things: the exploration of ceramics in contemporary art

By Jannah Jumamil on November 25, 2023

The Art Gallery of Alberta has organized Between Things: Alberta Ceramics to challenge how we view and connect with the material world. The exhibit includes sculptures and installations from 16 Albertan contemporary artists who explore how ceramics can change our experience and relationship with our environment.

Museum-goers behind one of Jocelyn Reid’s sculptures on display called Sit Tight (2021). It is made from cast porcelain, glaze, lustre, MDF and paint.
Mariko Paterson’s Vanity Fair, Vanity Fare (2023) includes historical and contemporary references that talk about excessive luxury and wealth.
Visitors are invited to sit down in front of the vanity to have a closer look at the intricate pieces with their reflections in the background.
Thirteen handbuilt vase forms are the center of attention in Trudy Golley’s (a)blaze (2014). These vases are placed on top of reflective bases. Together with carefully placed lighting, the installation materializes into something ethereal with the play of objects, light and shadow.
Wake (2023) is Amy Gogarty’s call for viewers to “wake up” from the wastefulness that has destroyed the planet. Each piece in the installation is a fragment of a larger piece where completion is entirely up to the viewer.
SSSSSSS (2000) is Greg Payce’s implementation of Rubin’s vase illusion. He creates movement and shape with the spaces between the vases, reminiscent of a snake.
Visitors stand by Mary Shannon Will’s experimental pieces involving nylon fibres and coloured glaze pencils.
Mary Shannon Will went on to create these pieces in the 1980s to challenge the simple aesthetics of geometric abstract art. She combined altered basic shapes and colours with complex patterns to achieve it.
Rob Froese is both a ceramist and a musician. His work Heartbeat/lambic Pentameter (2022) mimics heartbeats, speech patterns and music.
The detailed patterns on these ceramic pieces are altered by Froese himself with the use of found objects such as branches, hairbrushes and sculpting tools. The shape of the ceramics mimics how speakers look.

Between Things: Alberta Ceramics is open until March 3, 2024. Tickets to the Art Gallery of Alberta start at $14 for regular adults, and students in Alberta can visit for free.



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